Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Wed Dec 26, 2018 16:49

I have just bought some shiny pots, 70l Kettle, HLT and Mash Tun.

Now I want a method of cooling the wort a lot faster than my first attempt at making an immersion chiller.

I understand that PC and CFC are really fast but can be a pain to clean esp the PC when I make my preferred hoppy beers.

I have seen some designs for the Jaded Hydra immersion chillers and dont mind making one but am aware of the heating element in the kettle may not like having all that weight placed on it, so would probably go for a different design to avoid that which would probably lower the efficiency of the cooling.

I could make a counterflow chiller and I suspect that they are easier to clean, anyone with experience of making these?

Has anyone got any suggestions / preferences?
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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Thu Dec 27, 2018 09:01

Plate chiller. But use a BacBrewing Springer as a filter and flush the plate chiller with hot water in both directions immediately after use. Before use fill with a solution of VWP and leave overnight then flush with hot water before use. You will be amazed how much time you will save. The MaltMiller sells an excellent PC.

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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby PeeBee » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:41

INDIAPALEALE wrote:Plate chiller. But use a BacBrewing Springer as a filter and flush the plate chiller with hot water in both directions immediately after use. Before use fill with a solution of VWP and leave overnight then flush with hot water before use. You will be amazed how much time you will save. The MaltMiller sells an excellent PC.

I'd be very careful allowing metal to be in contact with VWP for longer than the 15 minutes on the directions. My stainless steel conical fermenter still bears the scars (black stains) five years on; it was brand new, cost the better part of a Grand, and I can't forget taking off the lid and seeing the oily, rust coloured scum floating in my proud new possession. Percarbonate and it's many spin-offs is safer for long soaks.


But back to the question - I use a counter-flow with 15mm copper core to deal with any debris. 35mm copper jacket, so can be cleaned by running boiling liquid through. Home build, but you have to enjoy soldering (and be pretty confident at it, as some soldered joint cannot be inspected after creating). Leadless solder. Though the Grainfather counter-flow chiller - which can only have a 8-10mm core and polymer (silicone?) jacket - seems trouble-free and very effective. If I want to cool in a reasonable time during Summer (tap water can be 16-18C) I add a shelf cooler in series to cool from 30C to 18C; using the product coils which are about 8-10mm bore SS.

Last edited by PeeBee on Thu Dec 27, 2018 18:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Thu Dec 27, 2018 14:05

I can see the advantages of the plate chiller but when you add a £70 filter and then all the fittings and carriage you end up at near £200.

The counterflow chillers seem good but even the Grainfather one is £140.

I have looked at the Jaded Brewery Hydra immersion chillers that look good and seem effective though still expensive at least clean up would not be such an issue, though I do worry about putting that weight of pipework anywhere near the heater elements.

Perhaps I could build a custom Hydra clone or one of these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVf-lTFpR2c&t=1s
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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby sledgehammer » Thu Dec 27, 2018 17:03

I use a immersion chiller i made myself from a how to on this forum
its 15mm pipe to supply (Cold) and take the waste (Hot) water away and consists of 2 coils of 10mm pipe one inside the other as the heat transfer area
i put it in the boiler a few mins before the heat is cut then when the heat is off turn the water on this cools the 9 gallons (41L) of wort from boiling point to around 18 degrees centergrade in about 25 mins
KISS=Keep It Simple Stupid
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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Fri Dec 28, 2018 00:18

sledgehammer wrote:I use a immersion chiller i made myself from a how to on this forum
its 15mm pipe to supply (Cold) and take the waste (Hot) water away and consists of 2 coils of 10mm pipe one inside the other as the heat transfer area
i put it in the boiler a few mins before the heat is cut then when the heat is off turn the water on this cools the 9 gallons (41L) of wort from boiling point to around 18 degrees centergrade in about 25 mins
KISS=Keep It Simple Stupid
Steve


Do you whirlpool and or recirculate the wort as you cool it?

ie pump from tap back into the kettle in order to recirculate to aid with cooling?

The Hydra Immersion coolers are supposed to cool 5 gallons to pitching temp in 3 minutes which isn't any slower ASFAICS than a plate chiller. Though I suspect that this is dependent on having a cold, cold water supply and one at a somewhat higher pressure than a normal kitchen tap.
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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Fri Dec 28, 2018 08:41

PeeBee wrote:
INDIAPALEALE wrote:Plate chiller. But use a BacBrewing Springer as a filter and flush the plate chiller with hot water in both directions immediately after use. Before use fill with a solution of VWP and leave overnight then flush with hot water before use. You will be amazed how much time you will save. The MaltMiller sells an excellent PC.


I'd be very careful allowing metal to be in contact with VWP for longer than the 15 minutes on the directions. My stainless steel conical fermenter still bears the scars (black stains) five years on; it was brand new, cost the better part of a Grand, and I can't forget taking off the lid and seeing the oily, rust coloured scum floating in my proud new possession. Percarbonate and it's many spin-offs is safer for long soaks..


The 15 minutes on the directions refer to the time required to sanitise. They also say that it is suitable for stainless steel. I have soaked stainless items in it for three days with no ill effects. In your case it is probably due to the cheap Chinese SS used in the manufacture of the conical. It is strange that American suppliers say that passivating is essential whereas Speidel make no mention of it. But there again they do not use Chinese SS

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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby sledgehammer » Fri Dec 28, 2018 16:02

RidleyRumpus wrote:
sledgehammer wrote:I use a immersion chiller i made myself from a how to on this forum
its 15mm pipe to supply (Cold) and take the waste (Hot) water away and consists of 2 coils of 10mm pipe one inside the other as the heat transfer area
i put it in the boiler a few mins before the heat is cut then when the heat is off turn the water on this cools the 9 gallons (41L) of wort from boiling point to around 18 degrees centergrade in about 25 mins
KISS=Keep It Simple Stupid
Steve


Do you whirlpool and or recirculate the wort as you cool it?

ie pump from tap back into the kettle in order to recirculate to aid with cooling?

The Hydra Immersion coolers are supposed to cool 5 gallons to pitching temp in 3 minutes which isn't any slower ASFAICS than a plate chiller. Though I suspect that this is dependent on having a cold, cold water supply and one at a somewhat higher pressure than a normal kitchen tap.


I dont do any of that the immersion chiller just sits in the boiler
i find if i dont disturb it all the sediment (floculated protines) and the leaf hops drop nicly to the bottom of the boiler and i get a reasnably clear wort drains out into the fermenter

Steve
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Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby LeeH » Sat Dec 29, 2018 01:42

Plate chiller, they are no hassle to clean. Just CIP with your pump or soak in bucket of HOT PBW or cold Anti formin S.


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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby RidleyRumpus » Sat Dec 29, 2018 15:03

LeeH wrote:Plate chiller, they are no hassle to clean. Just CIP with your pump or soak in bucket of HOT PBW or cold Anti formin S.


CIP?
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Re: Immersion, Counterflow or Plate Chiller?

Postby LeeH » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:05

Clean in place


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